Peter Ruff and the Double Four
I.10. Wonderful John Dory
The woman who had been Peter Ruff's first love had fallen upon evil days. Her
prettiness was on the wane - powder and rouge, late hours, and excesses of
many kinds, had played havoc with it, even in these few months. Her clothes
were showy but cheap. Her boots themselves, unclean and down at heel, told the
story. She stood upon the threshold of Peter Ruff's office, and looked half
defiantly, half doubtfully at Violet, who was its sole occupant.
"Can I do anything for you?" the latter asked, noticing the woman's hesitation.
"I want to see Mr. Ruff," the visitor said.
"Mr. Ruff is out at present," Violet answered.
"When will he be in?"
"I cannot tell you," Violet said. "Perhaps you had better leave a message. Or will
you call again? Mr. Ruff is very uncertain in his movements."
Maud sank into a chair.
"I'll wait," she declared.
"I am not sure," Violet remarked, raising her eyebrows, "whether that will be
convenient. There may be other clients in. Mr. Ruff himself may not be back for
"Are you his secretary?" Maud asked, without moving.
"I am his secretary and also his wife," Violet declared. The woman raised herself
a little in her chair.